Monday's games
Rockets 84, Bulls 77
CHICAGO -- Tracy McGrady scored 25 of his 31 points in the second half and hit the go-ahead jumper to lift the Houston Rockets to victory. McGrady's long jumper with 1:19 left broke a 77-77 tie. Houston's Shane Battier blocked a driving layup by Ben Gordon with 25 seconds left. McGrady then hit one of two free throws to make it a three-point game and Chuck Hayes and Luther Head added two apiece. It was the fifth 30-point performance in six games for McGrady, who hit just three of 10 shots in the first half. Juwan Howard added 16 points and nine rebounds, Dikembe Mutombo grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds, and the Rockets won for the sixth time in eight games since Yao Ming broke a bone in his right leg. Gordon led Chicago with 24 points, and Luol Deng scored 20 after finishing with 30 in Saturday's 106-89 win over Detroit.
Clippers 100, Hornets 90
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sam Cassell scored 31 points and Cuttino Mobley finished with 20 to lead the Clippers to the win. Playing for the first time in three weeks, Cassell scored 10 points during Los Angeles' decisive 17-3 fourth-quarter surge, including a 3-pointer that gave the Clippers the lead for good at 79-77 with 9:12 to play. Cassell had missed seven games with plantar fasciitis in his left heel before returning against the Hornets, and Mobley hyperextended his left elbow last week at Miami. Desmond Mason led New Orleans with 28 points for the second straight game, picking up his first consecutive 20-point games since his final three games with Milwaukee at the end of the 2004-05 season.
Nuggets 104, Bucks 92
DENVER -- Earl Boykins scored 26 points and Allen Iverson had 23 to lead the Denver Nuggets past the depleted Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks were without injured guard Michael Redd and lost his backcourt mate Mo Williams during the game. Ruben Patterson, who played in Denver last season, started in Redd's spot and scored 29 points, three shy of his career high, and had 11 boards. The Nuggets know how Milwaukee feels. Denver has been without the NBA's top scoring tandem since Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith brawled with the New York Knicks last month. Marcus Camby added 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Nuggets, who snapped a five-game losing streak. The Bucks learned before tip-off that they'd be without Redd and his 27.7 points per game for up to six weeks after he strained his left knee on a meaningless dunk Friday night against Cleveland. The Bucks also were without forward Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee's major offseason addition, who missed his third straight game with an injured right shoulder. Williams sprained his left shoulder just before halftime when he and Linas Kleiza collided near midcourt while going for the ball.
Associated Press

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